Grylloblattodea - The Icebugs AKA Rock Crawlers

Discovered in 1914 in the mountains of Canada, members of the Grylloblattodea are not present in the fossil record. They share physical characteristics with several different kinds of insects, their ordinal name being derived from the Greek words “gryll’ (cricket) and “blatta” (cockroach). These hemimetabolous insects are believed by some to be a family within the Orthoptera (Grylloblattidae) while some researchers (e.g., Vrsansky et al. 2001) consider Grylloblattids to be related to the archaic Protorthoptera complex, dating back to the Carboniferous. Called rock crawlers or icebugs, this small and obscure group of insects is found only at high elevations in the mountains of China, Siberia, Japan, and northwestern North America. Cave-dwelling species have been found in Korea and Japan. These omnivorous insects scavenge for food on the surface of snow and ice, as well as under rocks, logs and ground litter near permanent ice fields. They are active only at cold temperatures and move downward toward permafrost during warm seasons.

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